Zone 4 Field Mechanical
FIRST QUARTER 2008
Kansas City carmen who in-
spect trains in the yard can take
comfort in the knowledge that
someone with experience watches
That someone is Frank Rosas
who has worked on the railroad
more than 42 years. He started
his career at the Atchison, Topeka
& Santa Fe Railway Sept. 8, 1965,
cleaning boxcars. In 1973, he be-
came a carman and has worked at Cory Saiz, machinist, left, mentors Brad Davis, apprentice machinist, at Amarillo’s roundhouse.
Argentine’s Terminal Tower the
past 10 years.
A sense of accomplishment
comes from seeing his co-workers
go home healthy, Rosas said.
“I notify them when trains are
passing so they don’t get too close,”
he said. Mentoring is a key safety ingredi-
Even while performing other ent for the Amarillo Mechanical team,
duties, Rosas monitors the CAD which has many new hires. education. Cory Saiz, machinist, who
program on his computer, analyz- Brad Davis, machinist apprentice, retired from the military and began
ing how trains’ locations will effect began work Nov. 5 at the roundhouse in his railroad career as a journeyman in
carmen in the yard. Amarillo. October 2005, is one of Davis’ men-
“When I am working on a train Davis spent four months learn- tors. He teaches service, fueling, sand-
with other inspectors and repair- ing auto diesel mechanics at Universal ing, troubleshooting and outbounding,
men, it is nice to be reminded by Technical Institute in Houston, Texas. and explains federal inspections. Saiz
Frank about the next train coming When he learned from Amarillo stresses the safe way to complete each
in so we can coordinate our next Electrician Andy Bailey that training task and tells Davis not to be timid
move better and more safely,” said at the railroad is not only free, but also about asking questions.
Dennis Nelson, car inspector. paid, Davis changed careers. “Everyone here is a mentor,” Saiz
That is one reason Nelson Now he depends on seasoned me- said, “so if I’m not around, he can ask
recently nominated Rosas for a chanics, in addition to Electro-Motive anyone else.”
continued on page 2 Diesel classes, to fulfill that promise of continued on page 2
ZONE 4 FIELD MECHANICAL
Rosas is Watching
continued from page 1
Brother’s Keeper award. Other reasons for Rosas
nomination include his ability to obtain track blocks
for carmen and respond in emergencies.
“Should any of us need medical attention in a
hurry, Frank Rosas is the man to tell,” Nelson said.
“Frank, I don’t know how many lives you might have
saved. I do know you keep watch over many people
Rosas experience will be missed when he retires,
Jim Palmar, carman, left, receives a watch from Edward Rhoads, assistant
but he said there is no need to worry. Although he can general foreman.
see retirement on the horizon, he plans to wait until
his son, Paul, has finished college. Paul, 21, is taking
management classes at Johnson County Community CONGRATULATIONS
College and dreams of owning a restaurant. Frank Congratulations to Jim Palmar, Argentine carman, who re-
and his wife, Leslie, also have two daughters Katie, ceived a watch Feb. 11 for his completion of 30 Work Practice
14, and Christina, 21, who is Paul’s twin. Audits.
Palmar realized two years ago that he could be eligible for
WPA recognition and began to save his WPA cards.
He stays safe by communicating with and watching his
co-workers and knowing the rules. Palmar said employees should
not just do the bare minimum when it comes to safety and adher-
ence to the rules, instead they should apply the rules intelligently.
“Safety takes some intelligence,” he said. “There is a differ-
ence between following the rules and applying them.”
Palmar began his career in July 1976 at Havelock Shops in
Lincoln, Neb. He transferred to Kansas City in January 2000.
Frank Rosas keeps an eye on train movement.
Leading by example
continued from page 1
Davis said he likes “hands-on” said Matt Grim, carman apprentice.
training. Grim began his career at Amarillo
“Locomotives are different, they are in May. He has on-the-job experience
bigger and more involved than cars,” he at the RIP track and in the yard as well
said, “and you have to make sure to stay as knowledge from classes and comput-
safe around locomotives because it’s er-based training in Kansas City.
pretty dangerous.” Working in Amarillo since March
Davis, who graduated from Tulia 1994, Kelly Neal, carman, trained many
High School last year, wants to live the apprentices including Grim.
American dream with BNSF. He hopes “I keep a watchful eye on them,” he Keith O’Dell, carman, and Vince Martinez, appren-
to own his own home and have a family said, “but they are pretty intelligent and tice carman, prepare to move a wheel truck.
soon. catch on quickly.”
of Amarillo’s carmen who work at the When Neal works with Grim on protection is in place.
RIP track and in the yard, are not strang- car inspections, he stresses safety pre- Neal teaches a safe system for ev-
er ers to mentorship. In fact, they believe cautions. The train must be locked and ery job.
mentorship continues with journeymen. blue flagged at each end. Working on “Everything is a system,” he said.
“Everybody takes care of every- opposite ends of the train, Neal and “Once you get the system down, the job
ce body else whether they’re new or not,” Grim communicate via radio to ensure doesn’t change much.”
ZONE 4 FIELD MECHANICAL
Tour greases wheels of communication
Mike O’Brien, relief mechanical supervisor, right; gives a tour to Steve Gomez, training coordinator, left, and his class of new conductors: Nicholas Fancher,
Brandon Ryno, John Habeger, David Hill, Ramone Logan, Jacquelyn Goodnight and Steev Vasquez.
Ideally, three components of the railroad: track, cars During two prior classes, Gomez lectured on cars, but
and locomotives, and timely customer service work to- thought a tour of a car facility would better provide con-
gether flawlessly. The respective departments associated ductors from-the-source knowledge and promote commu-
with these components, Maintenance of Way, Mechanical nication between departments.
and Operating, continually work to meet that ideal. O’Brien shared information that would aid the new
Steve Gomez, training coordinator, recognizes the conductors in their careers. Checking the safety appli-
need for Operating and Mechanical employees to com- ances before riding a car can make the difference between
municate. He spent 25 years as a switchman spotting cars having or not having the use of your legs, he said. He also
for the Newton car shop. showed conductors locations of warning placards and test
“Having a good relationship with the conductors is dates on tank cars. Conductors often mark hot wheels and
essential,” said Michael O’Brien, wheel truck supervi- bearings, and O’Brien told them never to touch a wheel
sor and relief foreman. “I’ve worked with Steve for a without first assuring that it is still.
long time, and those cars are spotted everyday, and all the Gomez said the tour was a success and he looks for-
Mechanical people appreciate what they do, so I try to ward to repeating it with future classes.
help out Steve as much as I can.” “That’s what it’s all about out here,” he said, “having
O’Brien helped Gomez Feb. 26. Complying with a good working relationship among the departments.”
Gomez’s request, he treated a class of seven conductor The conductors trainees will be based out of
trainees to a tour of the Newton Car Shop. Newton.
A new chairman in town
As David Newkirk, carman, works on the RIP track in Amarillo, he watch-
es his co-workers.
In January, he took his protective nature to the next level and became the
Brotherhood of Railroad Carmen local chairman for Amarillo and Lubbock,
Texas, and Clovis, N.M.
“I wanted to help everyone out,” he said.
Newkirk began welding at age 16. He worked for various companies,
including Progressive Rail, prior to joining BNSF Dec. 6, 2004.
Arriving home to his family in good condition each day is important
to Newkirk. He has two sons, David, 9, Austin, 7, and a daughter, Kaitlin,
David Newkirk 18 months. During his off time off he hunts, fishes and four wheels with his sons.
ZONE 4 FIELD MECHANICAL
During strong winds, Mariano Munoz, carman,
operates his Kabota at a slow speed at the
fueling station in Amarillo, Texas. Safety Record not on Ice
The Kansas City Car Repair Facility
Safety Moment Felix Cisneros, Murray Yard mechanical foreman II, commends Kansas City
Car Repair Facility carmen for working safely through the winter.
Snow and ice create hazard- Murray is one of only four locations on the system designated to replace ASF
ous driving conditions and cold Adapter Plus Pads on Trinity-built grain cars. In order to change adapter pads,
weather takes its toll on Kabotas carmen work outside at Kansas City Intermodal Facility. With heavy precipita-
and other utility vehicles. tion in Kansas City this winter, Cisneros said it was not easy work.
“The simplest step you can Between Nov. 1 and Feb. 27, Murray carmen changed adapter pads on 19
take, is to inspect the vehicle before trains, with an average of 50 grain cars per train. As of March 8, the 36 Murray
using it,” said Patrick McClelland, carmen were 100 days injury-free. Cisneros interpreted the achievement as a
Newton, Kan., safety assistant. sign that Murray carman are on their way back to the top. After reaching 1,005
“When it’s cold, these vehicles are injury-free days in November, their record was marred by an injury. Cisneros
running almost 24/7.” said leadmen briefed on the incident for weeks afterward and still talk about it to
As winter continues, take extra maintain focus.
precautions when operating ve- “They stayed focused, they recovered well and are back to their old ways of
hicles. Everyone should know the staying injury free,” he said. “They’ll watch out for each other and they’ll get up
day’s weather forecast, especially there again.”
if inclement weather is expected.
Use the following precautions to operate vehicles
safely during winter conditions:
Trackside in the Panhandle
• Wear the proper footwear and know its Without a partner to watch his risks; if thinks he needs help, he calls
limitations. back, Shane Allison, carman, must the Amarillo Car Department. He
• Inspect the vehicle before use. Complete or be extra careful. Working out of locks tracks and switches, and displays
review an inspection form. If a serious defect is Lubbock, Texas, Allison covers the his blue flag. Because many Texas
found, tag the vehicle, take it out of service, and Slaton Subdivision and the south- switches are controlled in Fort Worth
report it to your supervisor. ern Plainview Subdivision through satellite, Allison calls
• Ensure the vehicle is clean an orderly, both before to Plainview, Texas. He dispatchers to notify them of
and after use to prevent tripping hazards and
has worked alone since where he will be working.
other unsafe conditions.
• Maintain three-point contact while boarding or
October. His precautions have
de-boarding the vehicle. Allison’s job is es- ensures his safety. Since
• Inspect the ground for slip, trip and fall hazards sential to velocity. When joining BNSF in September
before stepping out of the vehicle. trains have a bad car, the 2004, Allison has never
• Wear a seat belt while the vehicle is in motion. crew sets it out, he fixes it been injured. Prior to the
• Operate the vehicle at a speed that is safe for and the next train picks it up. railroad, he worked in con-
snowy and icy conditions. Make turns at a slower Most of his work occurs far from struction, sheet metal, and heat-
speed to avoid spin-outs and tip-overs. any railroad yard. ing and air-conditioning and he has
• Stop at all crossings and look for trains or other “Since I’m out there alone, I have long known the importance of safety.
on-track equipment that may be approaching. Be
to be very careful safety wise,” he Allison started his railroad career
aware that distance perception is difficult when
snow is falling. Trains and on-track equipment
said. “I don’t want to be hurt out in in Clovis, N.M., and came to Lubbock
may be closer or traveling faster than it appears, the middle of nowhere.” in April 2006. He is a third genera-
Take the safe course. Staying safe in the middle of no- tion railroader. His grandfather was a
• Do foul the track when parking. where requires an ability to assess the carman in Clovis and his mother was a
situation or job. Allison does not take crew caller in Clovis and Belin, N.M.
ZONE 4 FIELD MECHANICAL
ARGENTINE CELEBRATES SAFETY
Despite Kansas City’s harsh winter, Argentine carmen
have remained steadfast in their goal to make 2008 an inju-
As of Feb. 22, the team had 112 injury-free days.
“This is a milestone for Argentine Mechanical,” said
Eddie Rhoads, assistant general foreman. “These carmen
are to be commended for working through these harsh win-
ter conditions and staying safe.”
Management encouraged the team’s success hosting
celebrations for every 50 injury-free days. They feasted on
steak Jan. 3, cooked by management. Mark Grubbs, general
foreman, made a simple request to carman gathered at the
“I want to enlist all your support,” he said. “I know
nobody comes out here to get hurt. If it takes another 10
seconds to do it safely, then slow down and take the extra 10
seconds. There is no explanation for someone getting hurt
Carmen heeded Grubb’s call to safety and passed an-
other 50 days injury free, for which they were rewarded with Mark Grubbs, general foreman, left, and Todd Wolf, safety assistant, cook
a fish fry. steaks in honor of Argentine carmen’s safety record
Thomas stays safe
Ira Thomas is not keep-
ing the key to 30 injury-
free years to himself.
He shares his safety
knowledge with new-
Carmen Steven Cromley, left, and Steve Standish Carmen Dennis Nelson, left, and Manuel Briones
“I try to pass on
the knowledge I received
from the employees before me,”
Thomas said, “because I will not be
He also works as a union leader and
served as vice local chairman for the
Brotherhood of Railroad Carmen the
past nine years.
Starting as carman apprentice at
Carmen Wes Lasley, left; John Osbern, and M.J. Pacheco
Argentine Yard in Kansas City on
Aug. 9, 1973, Thomas learned a variety
of jobs. Now he works as an Argentine
train yard inspector.
He said he has remained safe through
awareness of his surroundings and com-
munication with his co-workers.
“I have enjoyed working here,” he
said. “I met a lot of nice people and
Ira Thomas, carman, left, sits down with Joseph C. Berry, Federal Railroad Administration safety in- hopefully I will meet more.”
spector; and R.J. Utter, carman. Thomas plans to retire in October.
ZONE 4 FIELD MECHANICAL
Mario Garcia, left, receives a retirement watch
Amarillo carmen rally behind Robert Luginbill at his retirement party. from Felix Cisneros, mechanical foreman II.
Luginbill boards retirement train GOODBYE
When Robert Luginbill, Amarillo car inspector, retired Jan. 31, he marked the
passing of multigenerational endeavor that spanned almost a century.
Luginbill’s grandfather began his railroad career in 1927 during the days of
Mario Garcia’s parting words
steam locomotives. His father started a generation later, in 1946, and eventually
became a Mechanical district supervisor. Luginbill, the last of his family’s railroad- to fellow carmen at Argentine Yard
ers, joined the industry in 1972 and worked in Amarillo the duration of his career. were simple.
As a boy, Luginbill was taken to terminals by his grandfather, Sleigman, to “Do the job and work safe,” he
watch locomotives. His father showed him locomotive motors at a diesel shop in said. “If I did it, you can do it.”
Barstow, Calif. After 26 injury-free years,
“I was always around the railroad,” he said. “I liked going to the yards as a kid Garcia retired in January. He be-
and looking at the locomotives.” gan his career in January 1969,
The childhood excitement Luginbill felt at railroad yards led to an enjoyable as a laborer at Kansas City’s die-
career. He liked working outdoors and had good co-workers. sel shop, but transferred to the Car
“A lot of good people work here,” he said. “I enjoyed my time working with Department soon after.
them and I hope they can say the same thing when they retire. It’s been fun.” Garcia said he would miss his
As a parting gift, Luginbill received a wooden locomotive carved and crafted co-workers but is ready to “take it
by Carmen Michael Hardy and Randy Ralston. easy.” He will spend time with his
He joked that his wife’s task list, which includes painting and yard work, might wife, Lupe; his children, Mario and
be more daunting than his usual work as Lorena; and his six grandchildren,
a car inspector. whom he will babysit often.
“I think I’m really going to have to
work now,” he said.
Luginbill, will have some time to
relax when he and his wife, Ollie, visit
Above and Beyond
Yellowstone National Park this summer. Dave Brant, Newton, Kan., carman
Carmen Mike Hardy and Randy Ralston crafted
They also look forward to a Caribbean this wooden locomotive which they presented to inspector, earned a Wal-Mart gift card for
cruise next year. Robert Luginbill upon his retirement.
making an extra effort during car inspec-
tions. In February, he found a broken rail.
Winning with work practice observations Rudy Jaramillo Jr., equipment supervisor,
said the find was one of many for Brant.
Congratulations to Richard Didier, leadman at the Jaramillo presented Brant with the
one spot in Newton, Kan. He won Newton’s drawing Didier gift card and praised his efforts.
for 2007 workplace observations and was awarded a “His awareness and prompt actions
watch in January. help eliminate costly
To be eligible for the drawing, employees must derailments and pos-
complete and submit one Work Practice Observation sible injury to oth-
every month. er employees,” he
Didier said he completes one WPO a week on said. “Great job
“WPOs help keep everyone aware of what they
are doing,” he said. Dave Brant
ZONE 4 FIELD MECHANICAL
Guillroy Brothers’ Keeper
Juan Guillroy, Newton, Kan., Josh Scott, a co-worker who one gets hurt.”
carman, was awarded a Brother’s nominated Guillroy for the Brother’s Guillroy began his railroad career in
Keeper recognition after stopping an Keeper award, praised him for his quick 1976 with Missouri Pacific, and joined
explosive gas leak. thinking. the Newton Car Department in 1994.
Guillroy was working on a track “Juan was quick on his feet and
adjacent to where a carman was weld- stopped a possible disaster from hap-
ing when heard a loud booming noise. pening,” he said. “Brother’s Keeper
Looking in the direction of the noise, is about watching out for your fellow
he observed flames emanating from the co-workers and keeping them out of
oxygen line. Guillroy reacted quickly harm’s way. I think Juan’s behavior is
and turned off the oxygen before any great example of this.” Juan Guillroy
further damage occurred. Guillroy displays the qualities of a
I’m sure he would have done the brother’s keeper through his mentorship
same for me,” Guillroy said. of new employees. He has worked with
It was determined later that hot 15 apprentices during the past 15 years.
metal slag from the welding process “I like teaching younger guys and
had burned through the oxygen line. getting them started in their careers,” he
The situation shows how incidents can said. “ I just make sure they do their job
occur when least expected. the right way and the safe way, so no
Railroad educates teacher
Formerly a high school teacher in southern Texas, During the summer, Dolsen worked at three minor de-
Margaret Dolsen now uses her people skills to supervise railments, where she witnessed repairs and became inter-
Mechanical operations in Kansas City. ested in the Mechanical side of operations.
Dolsen enjoyed mentoring and seeing her After studying theoretical robots in
students and athletes achieve. She coached soft- school, she views locomotives and cars as real-
ball, volleyball and soccer. Her class had the life robots.
highest test scores and her athletes never fin- “They look very simple at first, but when
ished less than second in district competitions. you start taking them apart, they’re complicat-
“I loved motivating my students to work ed,” she said.
hard and my athletes looked up to me,” she said. Dolsen joined BNSF with the management
During her fourth year of teaching, Dolsen de- Margaret Dolsen trainee program in September and said she is here
cided to work toward a second master’s degree in to stay.
addition to the one she held in curriculum and instruction. “I was looking for a place where I could grow and I
Taking night classes and limiting her coaching to one sport found it,” she said.
allowed her to pursue her master’s in industrial engineer- But Dolsen did not forget the skills she learned as a
ing. She finished the degree in conjunction with a summer teacher.
internship at BNSF’s Engineering Department. “Being a teacher refined my people skills,” she said.
As part of her internship, Dolsen worked on Texas “I was always prone to multitasking but teaching made
Division’s Maintenance Limits reviewing contracts with me really good at it. Something would always come up
industries to determine who would pay for track repairs. on game day, so I learned how to channel my energy and
She also measured trackage on site. prioritize tasks.”
“I was hooked once I got out in the field,” she said. “I Although learning the ropes at Kansas City keeps
loved the locomotives and the trains — it was all so much Dolsen busy, she still makes time for sports and plays vol-
bigger than I thought it would be.” leyball two nights a week.
ZONE 4 FIELD MECHANICAL
Safety Assistants attend the annual Mechanical Safety Certification meeting.
Morecraft’s story inspires Safety Assistants
With 15 years of experience work- ed had he not lost focus, not succumb to Occupying/Fouling Track Form.
ing for Exxon Mobil, Charlie Morecraft complacency and not taken shortcuts. • Manager of Industrial Hygiene
knew all of the shortcuts associated “You need to take care of your fam- Dan McCaskill: Industrial
with his job — and he paid a dear price ily. That’s why safety is so important,” Hygiene.
for taking them. he said. “Safety is all about going home • Manager of Environmental
The few Kansas City employees at the end of the day, kissing your wife Operations Don Girard:
who have taken this year’s Mechanical and seeing your kids. Every decision Environmental Awareness Training.
Safety Certification are impressed you make at work effects you and your • Director of Occupational Safety/
with the video of Morecraft’s speech, family. BNSF will always be here; Environmental Health Lawrence
said Todd Wolf, Kansas City safety where will you be?” Fleischer: Mechanical Ergonomics.
assistant. These powerful words set • Manager of HazMat Response
“He’s a good speaker, he gets your the tone for the 2008 Mechanical Brock Lowman: Hazardous
attention and keeps your attention,” Safety Certification sessions held in Materials.
Wolf said. Overland Park, Kan. The video telling • Wallish: Work Practice Observations.
Morecraft spent five years in the Morecraft’s moving story reminded Attendees listened attentively to en-
hospital recovering from an on-site those in attendance of why they were hance their understanding of safety and
truck explosion ignited by a chemical gathered, and instilled a heightened re- to implement valuable techniques and
leak, an incident he could have pre- solve within each individual to uphold impart information during their own
vented. He suffered severe burns that safety. More than 80 mechanical safe- training of others.
left terrible scarring, particularly on his ty assistants from across the system The company stance continues to be
forearms, which he noted would have received valuable information and ma- “all injuries are avoidable” and “no in-
been protected by his flame retardant terials they will use to spread the word jury is acceptable,” and Safety Director
sleeves had he not rolled them up for about safety and educate co-workers at Ron Hennessey reminded those in at-
momentary comfort. Though his physi- their individual work locations. tendance that this applies at all times,
cal scarring was traumatic, the deepest After reviewing system-wide safety even during safety successes. Though
scar was left on his family. Following statistics and changes within the me- staying injury free for a substantial pe-
the incident, Morecraft slipped into chanical safety rules, Safety Manager riod of time is an exceptional feat, it cer-
depression and alcoholism, leading to Bill Wallish guided attendees through tainly should not foster complacency.
divorce and years of counseling for his the day’s proceedings and introduced “You can go injury-free for one year,
two daughters. speakers: but that does not mean you have safety
Morecraft knows this chain of un- • Safety Manager Todd Dodgin: licked,” Hennessey said. “Safety is on-
fortunate events could have been avoid- Mechanical Department going. It’s constant; it’s everyday.”
Zone 4 Field Mechanical appears under direction of the zone superintendent. For news coverage, contact Willa at the newsletter office by phone at
BNSF 458-7342, 402-475-6397, fax 402-475-6398, mail information to 1845 S. 11th St., Lincoln, NE 68502-2211, or e-mail email@example.com. This
material is intended to be an overview of the news of the zone. If there are any discrepancies between this newsletter and any collective bargaining
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time, to alter, suspend, discontinue or terminate all plans and programs described in this newsletter. This newsletter is not an employment contract
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